Wendy Newcomer
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Wendy Newcomer

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Music

The best kept secret in music

Press


Newcomer is the most promising young female artist I have seen in years. Her debut CD, Raised on Promises, delivers on the promise that Wendy Newcomer is a powerful new voice to be reckoned with."

- Billy Block, Western Beat Radio

"Wendy Newcomer's new EP, Raised on Promises, shows off her gorgeous, slow-burn melancholy. ...In particular, (she) has a way with a sad, slow ballad."

- Chris Neal, The Nashville Scene

“‘Classic contemporary’ can refer to architecture, furniture design and Wendy Newcomer’s music. Her debut, Raised on Promises, is as country as a backyard well -- and just as deep and refreshing. Like everyone from Emmylou Harris, Patty Loveless and the Dixie Chicks, she summons a personal perspective by connecting songs from a variety of unusual sources, whether it’s the Tom Petty tune that provides her title or a Fred Eaglesmith gem that uses acceleration as an allegory for experiencing life at its fullest. That theme - putting yourself on the line, even when it repeatedly makes you vulnerable - runs throughout the album. Her expressive alto conveys that, for her, there’s really no other choice.”

-Michael McCall, Nashville Scene, L.A. Times

“Wendy Newcomer has the perfect country voice -- sweet and strong, yet a bit of a rasp that hints of some weathered storms. And when she kicks up the spunk, tie down the furniture and find something to brace yourself against. She wails and purrs in a way that will rattle every glass along the bar.”

- Jennifer Layton, indie-music.com

"Raised On Promises delivers them through Wendy Newcomer in oh so many ways; as a gifted songwriter who understands and articulates life's emotional nuances; as an interpreter who manages to stay the course of integrity to the original tunesmith's intentions on such masterpieces as Fred Eaglesmith's "105" and Leslie Satcher's "Cold Blue Shadow,"; but most significantly as a dazzling voice that is warm, assured and - quite frankly - unlike anything or anyone you've heard before. You won't believe your ears."

- Nick Krewen,
The Toronto Star, The Record, Grammy.com, Long Island Press

“...well-crafted songs and a gorgeous voice…”

- Peter Cooper, The Tennessean

"Sultry and sophisticated music with universal appeal. I want to compare her to Patty Loveless at one moment and Patty Griffin the next."

- Nancy Tunick, GrassRoots Promotion
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Birthday: October 14

Place of Birth: Asheboro, NC

Childhood Home: Farmer, NC

Current Residence: Nashville, TN


Personal passions: Songwriting, hearing live music, reading, traveling (especially to Europe), Dutch chocolate, TV shows Desperate Housewives & Boston Legal; flea markets; peanut butter (Peter Pan Reduced Fat Crunchy); caramel frappaccinos

Artists I'd most like to record a duet with: Patty Loveless, Emmylou Harris, Tom Petty, Dolly Parton, Buddy Miller, Elvis Costello

First Albums owned: Randy Travis' Storms Of Life; Patty Loveless self-titled debut; Heart's Bad Animals; Michael Jackson's Thriller

People I most admire: Jesus; and anyone who can maintain a healthy, long-term relationship!

Accomplishment I am most proud of: Singing on the Grand Ole Opry

If I've learned one thing in life, it's: That I have so much more to learn!

Favorite Books: The Da Vinci Code, The Mastery Of Love

Favorite Movies: Coal Miner's Daughter, When Harry Met Sally, Lost In Translation, Bull Durham and of course, Grease


Favorite Albums: Any Patty Loveless album; Kimmie Rhodes' West Texas Heaven; Tom Petty's Greatest Hits; Guy Clark's Dublin Blues; Emmylou Harris' Red Dirt Girl; Jim Lauderdale's Whisper; Buddy Miller's Poison Love; Etta James' Her Best: The Chess 50th Anniversary Collection; Rodney Crowell's Diamonds & Dirt;


Favorite Songs: "Slow Healing Heart" (Patty Loveless); "Killing The Blues" (Shawn Colvin); "The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face" (Roberta Flack); "After All This Time" (Rodney Crowell); "Solitaire" (The Carpenters); "He Stopped Loving Her Today" (George Jones); "Anyhow I Love You" (Guy Clark); "In Care Of The Blues" (Patsy Cline); "Angel Flying Too Close To The Ground" (Willie Nelson); "No Time To Cry" (Merle Haggard); "Love Hurts" (Gram Parsons & Emmylou Harris);
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Discography

"Raised on Promises" EP, October 2004
Radio play:Western Beat Radio show, syndicated weekly to 140 stations nationwide

Photos

Feeling a bit camera shy

Bio

When people first discover Wendy Newcomer, they know they’ve found something special. Perhaps it’s the dynamic way she uses her sensual alto, or the charismatic way she concentrates on conveying every nuance of a lyric, or the hip way she blends striking originals and unexpected cover songs into a stylistic statement all her own.

In the end, what really sets Newcomer apart is her ability to blend all these things into one unforgettable package. She has a talent for creating a balance of emotion and elegance, of passion and taste. As Billy Block, host of the popular Western Beat radio show has said, “When I saw Wendy Newcomer sing for the first time, it reminded me of watching Emmylou Harris back in the late ‘70s.”

Newcomer’s distinct way of drawing on the most time-honored strengths of country music and endowing them with contemporary cool has drawn enthusiastic support from so many corners. She’s appeared on the Grand Ole Opry (a personal highlight for her) and opened for Delbert McClinton, John Anderson, Johnny Paycheck, Lee Roy Parnell, Sammy Kershaw, Aaron Tippin and others.

As with Harris, who she counts as one of her heroes, Newcomer’s respect for a good song stands at the center of her artistry. “I’ve always admired singers who make a career out of great songs,” says Newcomer, a strong writer herself who’s co-written with such significant Nashville tunesmiths as Karen Staley and Ron Harbin. “Artists like Emmylou Harris, Linda Ronstadt, Bonnie Raitt and Patty Loveless always impressed me in how they can do something very traditional but also reach far beyond that and find a great song from a surprising source. They can do stone country or folk songs, then turn around and rock out.”

Newcomer wants to cast herself in that same mold. “I’m a country singer,” she says, “and I connect most with the real rootsy side of country music. I’m drawn to traditional country, but I’m also just as inspired by artists like the Rolling Stones, Chris Isaak and Tom Petty.”

She’s already received critical praise for both her boldness and her good taste. The Nashville Scene, the city’s pre-eminent weekly, said of her: “Wendy Newcomer’s striking contemporary country style is more West Coast than Third Coast. She wields her powerfully expressive alto with subtle panache on literate originals and well-chosen covers, including hidden gems by Van Morrison, Elvis Costello and others.”

A native of tiny Farmer, N.C., Newcomer grew up loving the traditional country music of Dolly Parton and Loretta Lynn, the early rock of the Stones and the Beatles and the elegant pop of the Carpenters. She began writing songs right after high school. In college she was invited by her uncle Ronnie Robinson to become lead singer in his popular club band, Steel Country. The band played every weekend at honky tonks, biker bars, private parties and Moose Lodges across the Carolinas.

Soon, Newcomer found herself in demand as a vocalist, recording song demos and eventually encouraged by a studio owner to move to Nashville in 1995. Embraced by the Nashville songwriting community, she worked her way up through the system of club gigs, co-writing appointments and demo sessions. Newcomer knows the hard work it takes to build and break a career. Through it all she’s stayed focused on her primary goal: making a life for herself as a professional singer and songwriter.

“Music is so vital to my life,” she says, “and I think it plays such an enormous role in so many lives. “We’re all trying to get through and be strong, and we put our game face on to survive. But when I’m on stage, I can drop all that and be as vulnerable or as emotional or as angry or as kick-ass as I want to be. I love how songs give us a chance to go to an emotional place we may not go in a conversation. You can be more open, and it gives us all a chance to relate to that emotion. I love how music helps us all deal. That’s just so powerful to me.”